I love Alternative music for many reasons, the most notable of which is that you never know what you're going to get. If you buy a Country album, you can be reasonably certain that no matter how different or unique are the songs, all of the cuts will be in the Country style. Same goes for Blues, Pop, Jazz, Heavy Metal...you know what you're going to get.
Alternative music comes close to reminding me of movie soundtrack music. It can be anything and go anywhere. There are no rules.
While listening to Brian Bromberg's Bass on The Broadband, I was very glad I stumbled across the music of Miles Mosley. They played the title song from his solo bass album, "Bear" and I was hooked. I turned into Wil Smith from Independence Day. "I have GOT to get me one-a THESE!"
I've never heard anything like this before! If more people put this kind of intense feeling into their music, we'd never have time to do anything but listen! Obviously, Bass on The Broadband knows this. Wow! And thank you!
Let's go exploring. First off, who is Miles Mosley?
"Miles Mosley is a vocalist, bassist, guitarist, pianist, composer and arranger from Hollywood, California. He was named after Miles Davis.
"Miles Mosley was trained in classical music and jazz at Colburn School of Music in downtown L.A. Mosley has studied with some of jazz's finest musicians, including John Clayton, Ray Brown and Al McKibbon. He claims he picked the upright bass because it was the only instrument at his school that he did not have to bring home with him. Mosley's style has often been described as brothel jazz; Mosley himself describes it as if Jimi Hendrix played upright bass in Prince's band.
"Throughout the years Mosley has written, composed, performed live and appeared in videos for various artists including Chris Cornell, Jonathan Davis, Everlast, Terrence Howard, Joni Mitchell, Lauryn Hill, Gnarls Barkley, Jeff Beck, Common, Christina Aguilera, Lesa Carlson.
"Mosley has released a number of albums containing his own solo work. In addition, he has worked for Creative Counseling Network, a non-profit organization that provides access to the arts for under-served young people."
To the album itself...
"Bear", by Miles Mosley is an incredibly diverse collection of tuneage. Within the fourteen tracks, there's rock, soul, funk, jazz, salsa, classical, stage-theatrical, romantic balladry, and even a smattering of rap (yes, I know what you're thinking, but it really works). If someone asks about the genre of your new album purchase, just shrug, lower the brim of your fedora, and say with a grin, "Hey, man...it's Miles Mosley."
I usually like to run through each of the tracks and give kind of a blow-by-blow feel for each song. I've decided to skip that. This is the first time I feel it would spoil the surprise. Heh, heh. You need to hear this one for yourself.
Suffice to say that you are in for a monumental treat of bass theatrics. At times, a stand-up bass played with a bow, and wired through enough electronics to power your electric toothbrush for a week! Then there are the parts where it's just the pure, vibrating wooden beauty of the raw bass - where you can hear the strings shake and Mosley's fingers whap and pound against the fretboard.
He is a dramatic and intense musician, and I wish we had more of this. Here are a couple of videos samples of songs from "Bear".
To me, the most jaw-dropping pieces are the title track, "Bear" (a dark sampler of what bears must sound like - grizzlies, angry men, a bad day at work), "Take Me Home", "Princess Beth and the Cellar Door" (one of the finest bass melodies I've ever heard), "Bravery", "Marching", "Rise" (a pure study in the most dangerous and troubled mood a bass can project), and "Shine" - Mosley's take on "Maria" from West Side Story. All done up and fancy, with horns and soul and style.
01 - Bear 02 - Photograph 03 - Voodoo Child 04 - Can Can 05 - Back it Up 06 - 1000 X's 07 - My Customers 08 - Take Me Home 09 - Princess Beth and the Cellar Door 10 - Bravery 11 - Marching 12 - Clarity 13 - Rise 14 - Shine
Bass lovers, give your ears a gift - try out Miles Mosley's "Bear". They will thank you a thousand times over!
© 2012 CL Seamus for Thunder Row
Bear is available on iTunes and Amazon. Visit Miles Mosley on the internet.